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The Smart DCC and You

Information for Datamere Clients

As a registered Gas or Electricity Supplier you should have received a number of communications from the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) relating to the UK roll-out of Smart Metering, the Data Communication Company (DCC) and any obligation that this may place upon you.

The following information has been prepared by Datamere Software Solutions for its Genus© clients to assist you with developing your business' Smart Metering strategy.

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What is a Smart Meter?

A Smart Meter is a meter which allows two-way, real time communication between the device and the relevant Supplier and their Metering Agents.

This allows the collection of actual reads, the update of tariff information and the capability to switch between credit and pre-pay operation without the cost, delay and inconvenience of arranging a visit to the premise.

If authorised by the Consumer, consumption and tariff data can be made available to third parties such as Price Comparison Websites.

A Smart Meter is supported by a Communications Hub which allows the meter to talk to the DCC and can also have an In-Home Display (IHD) which allows the consumer to easily view their Electricity and/or Gas usage and, courtesy of the tariff information held by the Smart Meter, an indication of the costs incurred.

What is the Data Communication Company DCC?

The Data Communication Company was created under instruction from DECC to deliver the infrastructure required to enable the communication between Smart Meter devices in a customer’s premises and the IS systems utilised by Market Participants such as Suppliers and Metering Agents.

This infrastructure is commonly known as the "SMART DCC".

How Does This Impact Me as a Supplier?

Changes made by OFGEM to your Gas and Electricity Supplier Licences obligate Suppliers to offer Smart Metering to all Domestic and Designated Non-Domestic Premises by 31 December 2020.

Domestic Premises are defined as:

  • For Gas - A premises at which a supply of gas is taken wholly or mainly for a domestic purpose
  • For Electricity - A premises at which a supply of electricity is taken wholly or mainly for a domestic purpose

Designated Premises are defined as:

  • For Gas - Non-Domestic Premises (Commercial) at which the measured annual consumption of gas is 732,000 kWh or less
  • For Electricity - Non-Domestic Premises at which a metering point falls within profile class 1, 2, 3 or 4

To meet this obligation, you will need to ensure that you have:

  • The capability to inherit and operate a Smart Meter on Change of Supplier
  • Plans in place and agreed with OFGEM to install Smart Metering and Communications Hubs to all qualifying Customers by the 2020 deadline

To support this, all impacted Small Suppliers need to become approved "DCC Users" (currently by 17th August 2017)

To become an approved "DCC Users" a supplier with have to do the following:

  • Become a Signatory to the Smart Metering Code
    • Currently costs £540 plus a compulsory £1 share in SECCo
  • Have completed User Entry Process Testing (UEPT) with the DCC
    • Proves Supplier's systems are capable of securely connecting to and exchanging the required Smart dataflows with the DCC
  • Demonstrate IS Security to standards equivalent to ISO 27001 / 27005
    • Suppliers will need to demonstrate these standards to the satisfaction of an external auditor appointed by the DCC
  • Lodge appropriate Credit Cover with DCC (as deemed appropriate to their default risk)

How Can Datamere Support You?

There are a number of ways Datamere can support you with this process. Developing software is our speciality so we are well placed to develop a DCC Adaptor which will allow communication with the DCC. Please contact julie@datamere.co.uk if you are interested in this option.

Key Dates:

The following are key dates impacting Suppliers Smart Metering Objectives

30th April 2016
(then revised annually)
Impacted Suppliers should have submitted their Smart Meter roll-out plans and forecasts to DECC and OFGEM
17th August 2016
(latest published date)
Latest published date for Smart DCC to be “live” and available for impacted Suppliers to begin User Entry Process Testing (UEPT)
August 2016 > August 2017 Impacted Suppliers to become signatories to the Smart Energy Code (SEC), and work towards completion of User Entry Process Testing (UEPT)
August 2016 > August 2017 Impacted Suppliers to get contracts in place with Metering Agents who are capable of installing and operating Smart Meters
14th September 2016 “Small Supplier’s Day” – A free event hosted by the DCC in London. Sessions and information targeted specifically at the obligations of Small Suppliers - Recommended
Six months prior to first planned meter installation (then ongoing monthly) Impacted Suppliers to submit to DCC forecasts for the period +6 to +24 months for the number of Communications Hubs that they need the DCC to procure on their behalf. Note: These forecasts are important as Suppliers will be contractually committed to purchase these Communications Hub (within an allowable tolerance +/-)
One month prior to first planned meter installation (then ongoing monthly) Impacted Suppliers to submit to DCC orders for Communications Hubs to be provided from the DCC for the next month. Note: These orders must be within an allowable tolerance +/- of the forecasts
17th August 2017
(DCC “live” + 12 months)
Latest date for all impacted Suppliers to have become signatories to the Smart Energy Code (SEC), completed User Entry Process Testing (UEPT) and be capable of installing, inheriting and operating Smart Meters
August 2017 > December 2020 Impacted Suppliers to roll out Smart Metering to Domestic and Designated Non-Domestic Premises for which they are the Supplier
30th December 2020 Latest date for all impacted Suppliers to have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that a Smart Metering System is installed at Domestic and Designated Premises for which they are the Supplier

Useful Links:

The following are links to relevant or useful Information

Smart DCC Overview
https://www.smartdcc.co.uk/media/393490/introductorysession_v1.pdf
Smart Energy Code
https://smartenergycodecompany.co.uk/sec/sec-and-guidance-documents
OFGEM Letter re: Smart Rollout Reporting Obligations
https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/98761